TL;DR – His choice to help the community with bike repairs stems from his desire to earn his own expenses.
Earlier this week, MustShareNews and Mothership reported a story of an 83-year-old elderly man who fixes bicycles at a void deck in Pasir Ris. This story was first posted on SG PCN Cyclist Facebook page.
According to the now-deleted post, the elderly man is currently still working as a bicycle mechanic to earn money to pay for his kidney dialysis.
Very quickly, the post garnered overwhelming responses from netizens, who expressed interest in wanting to show their support for the elderly man.
On 17 November, Member of Parliament (MP) Desmond Tan took to Facebook to share the elderly man’s story from his family’s perspective.
In the Facebook post, the MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC said that his team has reached out to the elderly man and his family, and they were “amazed by the resilience and positive attitude” of the elderly man.
He also shared that the grandson of the elderly man has come forward to shed light on this episode and assured those who expressed concerns earlier that the elderly man has a very close-knit and supportive family.
It turns out the elderly man has retired more than 20 years ago but is still repairing bicycles now as a hobby and to pass the time. While the elderly man’s grandson is grateful for the outpour of concern and support for his grandfather, he also urges the members of the public not to overwhelm the elderly man with servicing needs.
The MP also reposted the comment left by the elderly man’s grandson in the Facebook post. You can read his post in full text below:
Hi everyone, this is Gabriel and I’m the grandson of the “Bicycle Uncle” that all of you have all been so concerned about.
Firstly, thank you all for the concern and kindness that you have shown towards my grandfather.
We are really thankful for all the love shown towards him and the family would like to take this opportunity to clarify the situation as some people have gotten the wrong idea about the whole situation.
1) No Financial Aid Is Required
While he is indeed undergoing kidney dialysis, he is a private patient and all the bills are covered by his insurance plans and the remainder is picked up by the family members.
We are grateful to see some people volunteering to start a fund raiser for him but we are financially stable.
We want to make it clear that we do not need any financial help of any sorts.
As some of us are financial consultants, we have done what is necessary to ensure a good quality of life for him in his old age. We have actually arranged for a domestic helper to look after both him and our grandmother over the last couple of years.
2) Please Respect His Desire To Be Self-sufficient
It has come to our attention that some individuals have dropped red packets off to bless our grandfather and we thank you for the good intention.
However, his choice to help the community with bike repairs stems from his desire to earn his own expenses.
Though the family members do give him a monthly allowance, he refuses to accept the allowances as he feels that he is capable of taking care of himself.
3) Please Do Not Intentionally Support His Business
This might sound odd but even though we respect his desire to be independent, his health is our primary concern.
He actually does not need to work for his living expenses, and if you bring your business to him, with his nature, he will want to do a good job.
By intentionally supporting him, he is actually going to end up working longer hours and exhaust himself unnecessarily. We sincerely ask that you refrain from doing so.
As such, our family would like to thank all of you for your concern and ask that you stop sharing the post and let life return to normal for our grandfather!
Once again, this story tells us that there are always two sides to a coin. And for every story you read online, there might be an even fuller story to it.